Sanwo-Olu, okadas and tricycle operator

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday ordered the arrest of policemen and military officials caught engaging in okada riding in prohibited areas across the state.

The government frowned at the uniformed men disobeying the state’s laws on traffic and restriction of okada riders, saying that it was illegal for any security operative in mufti to ride commercial motorcycles on routes where Okada and tricycles had been restricted.

The pronouncement was part of the issues discussed during a security meeting held at the State House in Marina. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu chaired the meeting, which was attended by Commanders of all security formations in the State.

Briefing the press after the meeting, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, said the enforcement of the restriction order would be executed with more force to completely keep Okada and tricycles away from the restricted routes.

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Members of the Security Council, the Commissioner said, frowned at a situation in which uniform men flouted the State’s Transport Sector Reform Laws, warning security operatives, especially police officers and military personnel, to stop taking passengers on their motorcycles on restricted routes.

Omotoso said: “We have just concluded the State Security Council meeting, where we reviewed the ongoing enforcement of Okada and Keke restriction order in the six Local Government Areas. Matters concerning uniform men engaging in commercial motorcycle operation came up in our discussion and there has been an order restricting them from doing that.

“Only a uniform man who is fully kitted and who rides motorcycle as his own personal mode of transportation is allowed. If any uniform man ventures into commercial motorcycle operation or Keke, the action of such a person is illegal and such persons are going to be arrested if they are caught.”

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The Commissioner reiterated that the State would not relax the laws restricting Okada and tricycles on the highways, praising Lagosians for standing firm behind the government in the ongoing enforcement of the restriction order.

In April, Omotoso said the State Government would be assuaging the pain being felt by residents by injecting buses of different sizes and capacities into the public transportation space to serve as alternative to Okada and Keke.

“We are using this opportunity to inform Lagosians that the palliatives promised by the Government will be coming very soon, most likely in April,” the Commissioner said.

Omotoso said the government was not resting on its oars in providing required infrastructure that would improve traffic situation and transportation across the State.

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He disclosed that the Government would be holding a ground-breaking ceremony on the long-awaited Red Line rail project, which, he said, would be held on March 25. He added that updates would also be shared on the ongoing Blue Line rail project handling by Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).